Obama: 'Peace is distant' but Israel needs to try

Obama and Rivlin meet at the White House, where US President stresses 'unbreakable bond' between Israel and US.

Cynthia Blank,

Rivlin and Obama meet at the White House
Rivlin and Obama meet at the White House
Kobi Gideon/GPO

President Reuven Rivlin met at the White House on Wednesday evening with US President Barack Obama for the first time since he assumed the presidency. 

President Obama stressed the meeting was "an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bonds between Israel and the US," adding that "our commitment to Israel's security is an important pillar of US foreign policy."

The remark was likely an attempt to convey a clear message of American support for Israel, despite strains between the two countries earlier in the year over the Iran nuclear deal. 

Obama also took the opportunity to condemn Palestinian violence, urging Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to "unequivocally condemn the violence...and end incitement."

He added that there was a "need for Israelis and Palestinians to find mechanisms in which to dialogue."

"Obviously this is a time at which the prospects of a serious peace may seem distant, it's important that we continue to try," Obama said.

"Israel has no greater friend than the US," Rivlin emphasized, adding that Israel has "no war with Islam. We have war with those who have radical ideas." 




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